New BackYarders ... in Portland, OR

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by riccarr, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. riccarr

    riccarr New Egg

    Apr 18, 2016
    Hello ... been getting great information from this site; thanks to all!

    Posted a gallery of pictures on my new coop built for my wife. She's been asking forever for me to build one. I decided to reclaim the children's play structure; its been sitting unused since the kids grew up. Turned out to make a great base for building upon.

    Plans are to house 4 hens. The outside run area is about 10 feet by 15 feet, seems plenty big enough. The coop itself has a floor area of about 2ft by 5ft ... so 10 square feet, not including the nesting boxes. Does this look/seem big enough?

    The plank leading up to the pop door is about 8 feet long. I didn't want to put it at too much angle, but not sure if that is too long now.

    We just got the chicks this past weekend; their residing in the house in the spare bathtub, with heater, food, water, etc.

    Weather in Portland is fairly mild, but I'm planning to make a temperature monitor and automatically turn on/off the heat light in the coop. I'd like to get to automating the pop door, too.

    Cheers all!
  2. KerryP

    KerryP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2015
    Hey riccarr - welcome! I'm here in Portland, OR too. I've got hens in an outdoor coop, and I've got new chicks for this year in the garage brooder. :) Your coop looks good - I'm so impressed you were able to use the play structure as a base - great vision! I wonder though - is there any way to make that 2 feet a little wider? I would think it'd be a little tough for full-grown birds to get up on a roost in there if it's only 2' wide. Do you have a picture of the inside?
  3. riccarr

    riccarr New Egg

    Apr 18, 2016
    Hi Kerry ...

    Yes, it concerns me a bit too; wishing I had of planned that better when building, to make it a bit deeper. I'd have to dismantle the whole side in order to extend it out.

    The roost however, is running length ways, the long 5 foot length. So I'm thinking/hoping the hen would be opening her wings on the long way, not the shorter side to side way.

    Not sure what to do ... maybe just see how it works out and if it looks to be an issue then I'd have to consider reconstruction. Course then the hens would already be in it, so that would be more difficult at that point :(

    May just have no roost in it ?
  4. KerryP

    KerryP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2015
    Well, the problem is that chickens roost when they sleep - it's in their DNA. If you don't provide them a roost, then they'll likely find another one (such as the nearest tree). I've had that happen before when the wind shut the coop door one time. You should have seen me up on a ladder at midnight trying to get them out of the tree... it looked like something from the Portlandia show. :) A 5' long roost is enough for all the birds to sit side by side without problem, but I bet the birds will have a tough time getting up with only 1' of space on each side... the roost would have to run straight down the middle to make room for both their heads and their tails. Even opening her wings on the "long" way, she's still only have 1 foot of room to fit her entire body (beak to tail), and that might be cutting it close. But, hens are clever, and it might work. Go ahead and try it, but if you have the time and the means, I think you'll be grateful later if you try to give them a little more room now. Just my opinion, for what it's worth. :)
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - glad to have you onboard.

    In terms of your coop, i believe the recommended space requirement per bird is 4 sq ft (for standard birds, not bantams), so it may not be large enough (but if you plan to cover at least some of your run to protect from the weather, then it may ok), and the shape may prove a little challenging as it may not provide sufficient space for a chicken to "hop" onto the roost. A low roost may do the trick - maybe 15-25 cm above the floor.

    Providing the coop is water tight and well ventilated, your flock will not need additional warmth - they will be fine.

    I remember reading about ideal angles of "ladders", but can't recall the recommended length (its a height, based calculation) so maybe try and search for something like "calculating length of ladders to pop door" and see what comes up.

    All the best
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  7. mlm Mike

    mlm Mike Sunna and Mani Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hardy Township, OH
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Coop sounds like it would be more comfortable for 2 chickens but, not 4. Rule of thumb is 4-5 sq.feet per bird in the coop (excluding roosts and nest box dimensions), and 10 sq. feet per bird in the enclosed run.

    It's always better to build larger than you think you need. You will get addicted to chickens and want, more and more, that is a certainty like death & taxes - but, a good thing. Plan ahead and you won't need to make a second and third coop or additions.

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